Water main break gets day off to rough start for North Side residents, businesses

People affected by outage reside near Highway 281, Encino Rio

SAN ANTONIO – A water main break caused a major outage on the city's North Side Wednesday, making it a rough start to the day for many residents and business people.

At the height of the outage, more than 1,000 homes and businesses in an area east of Highway 281 between Encino Rio and Evans Road had no water or very low water pressure, according to San Antonio Water System spokeswoman Anne Hayden.

At least two North East Independent School District campuses, Frank Tejeda Middle School and Encino Park Elementary School, had to bring in water for students.

Hayden wasn't able to say right away what caused the break, which occurred around 6 a.m.

She said due to road construction in the area, water crews had a tough time reaching some of the valves.

Water flowing from the break site on Encino Rio near Highway 281 created a swift-moving stream on a nearby side street.

Across the road at Culebra Meat Market, there was barely a drop of water.

Store manager Joe Contreras said having no water meant there was no steam for cooking a Christmastime favorite.

"That's our business right now, people buying tamales," he said.  "We cannot keep the maintenance or the cleanliness in the store or serve our customers because we have tamales that have to be steamed."

Contreras said he found the unplanned dry spell waiting for him when he arrived at the store early Wednesday morning.

He had to break the news that there were no tamales to several customers. 

"They're very understanding," Contreras said. "It's out of our control and nothing we can do at this point."

Some people who live in the area had to skip their morning showers.

SAWS crews restored water and water pressure to most of those affected within a few hours.

Hayden said a handful of businesses close to the Highway 281 access road would remain without water, until the late afternoon or early evening.


About the Author:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.